All Saints Messenger - September 14, 2017

posted Sep 21, 2017, 12:46 PM by Church Secretary
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Greetings in the name of  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 

The work of a bishop often requires mediating conflict in the church--between rectors and vestries, congregation members, with the diocese and other scenarios. Our Episcopal tradition confesses that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. Most often (maybe ALWAYS) our conflict erupts because we do not love God with our whole heart, and our neighbors as ourselves.

In Sunday's gospel reading Matthew makes clear that such conflict has been with the community of believers from the beginning. There are temporal consequences for our behavior, and Jesus doesn't let the community off the hook easily. Yet, he reminds his followers that we are called to be people of forgiveness because we have a God who eternally forgives through Christ. So forgiven we must take that call seriously. But how many times should I forgive? Seven times is great plenty right? No. Those who have been forgiven are called to forgiveness that is extravagant beyond measure.

Forgiving Christ, you stretched your arms out on the cross to gather all into your embrace. Help us to move past our grief, anger and selfish ambition to seek wholeness, peace and forgiveness. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.

See ya Sunday!

Fr. Gary+